Hundreds of sci-fi and fantasy fans flock to Hartlepool Comic-Con

Hundreds of science fiction and fantasy lovers flocked to Hartlepool’s Borough Hall for the town’s Comic-Con.

Families rubbed shoulders with superheroes, Disney princesses and a host of fans in costume at the packed event.

Ian Butler as Professor Snape and Hanah Simpson as a Slytherin pupil from Harry Potter at Hartlepool Comic-Con.

Ian Butler as Professor Snape and Hanah Simpson as a Slytherin pupil from Harry Potter at Hartlepool Comic-Con.

Among the guests posing for pictures and signing autographs today were Mad Max and Farscape star Virginia Hey; Mark Dexter, who has credits in Transformers, Doctor Who and sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf to his name, and Sandeep Mohan, who has appeared in a number of the recent Star Wars films.
Fans could have their pictures taken on a Star Wars speederbike, or with a life-size Wampa, while a Lightsaber Training Academy helped youngsters learn how to defend themselves from the Dark Side.

And traders were on hand to offer a vast range of merchandise from the likes of Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Star Wars.

Sharon Hall, from organisers Unleashed Events, was overwhelmed with the response.

“It has been absolutely amazing,” she said.

The people of Hartlepool are just mad for Comic-Con.

Sharon Hall

“The people of Hartlepool are just mad for Comic-Con.”

Among those in costume were friends Kurt Scott, as video game character Mario; Molly Wilde, as Catwoman; Bef Slater, as Velma from Scooby Doo, and Jamie Cardwell, as The Walking Dead’s Negan.

“I just love getting into character - it’s brilliant,” said Kurt.

Keeping it in the family were Michael Appleyard, as Batman, and 12-year-old daughter Lauren, as Gotham’s Selina Kyle.

The busy convention floor at Hartlepool Comic-Con.

The busy convention floor at Hartlepool Comic-Con.

“We got to a lot of these events together,” said Michael.

One of the youngster attendees was six-month-old Jessica Alday, who was dressed as Wonder Woman.

“My husband Steve isn’t here because he’s working - but he wishes he was,” said mum Serana.

Twenty-four-year-old Hanah Simpson had come dressed as a Slytherin student from the Harry Potter books - only to find herself face-to-face with Ian Butler, 54, as Head of House Professor Snape.

Kurt Scott, Molly Wilde, Bef Slater and Jamie Cardwell

Kurt Scott, Molly Wilde, Bef Slater and Jamie Cardwell

“I am thinking about playing Luna Lovegood in the future, but with a blonde wig,” said Hanah.

“I don’t think I quite have it in me to dye my hair.”

Sandeep Mohan is a relative newcomer to the convention circuit, but is loving it.

“To be here on Mother’s Day with all the families has been a privilege,” he said.

Michael and Lauren Appleyard

Michael and Lauren Appleyard

Jessica Alday as Wonder Woman with mum Serana.

Jessica Alday as Wonder Woman with mum Serana.